First leasing company joins EBRD’s resource efficiency programme for Turkish SMEs

By Olga Rosca
@olgarosca

First leasing company joins EBRD’s resource efficiency programme for Turkish SMEs

€25 million loan to Aklease

Aklease has become the first Turkish leasing company to join the EBRD’s renewed Turkey Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (TurSEFF), which is supported by European Union funding and designed to enhance the resource efficiency of local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and support the use of renewable energy sources.

The €25 million loan will boost leasing as a tool to address the financial needs of local enterprises. It will fund leases of equipment for energy and water efficiency, waste minimisation and small-scale renewable energy investments, among others.

The loan is part of a US$110 million financing package organised by the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO). Other financing parties include the Green for Growth Fund (GGF) and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).

Aklease is one of the leading leasing companies in the field of renewable energy as well as being one of the largest in Turkey. It provides leasing solutions across sectors and finances machinery and equipment.

The EBRD’s financing to Aklease comes under the third phase of the TurSEFF framework, bringing the total available under the programme to €1 billion for investments in resource efficiency, financing for vendors and producers of qualifying green equipment and small-scale renewable energy investments such as solar photovoltaic, biomass and biogas projects. In addition to banks, TurSEFF also provides funds to leasing companies and for municipal projects.

Arvid Tuerkner, EBRD Managing Director, Turkey, said: “We are excited for Aklease to become our first leasing partner to support resource efficiency in Turkey. Leasing is an attractive and valuable alternative to traditional bank financing. Better access to lease funding will encourage entrepreneurial activity, which in turn will support the country’s transition to a greener economy.”

Linda Broekhuizen, FMO's Chief Investment Officer, commented: “FMO is proud to have arranged this successful syndicated loan agreement for Aklease, bringing a strong group of investors to Aklease. It will enable Aklease to continue its growth in renewable energy projects and helps support job creation in the country through SMEs.”

Şenol Altundaş, CEO of Aklease, added: “Thanks to our cooperation with the FMO, we have obtained the first five-year market-syndicated loan in the Turkish leasing sector, amounting to US$ 110 million, with contributions from well-established financial institutions such as the FMO and EBRD, as well as the GGF, OFID and other funds. We are extremely proud of being the first leasing company to participate in the EBRD’s TuRSEFF programme. To date we have already financed almost 120 MW of solar energy and 60 MW of wind energy investments, and we will continue to finance the renewable energy and energy efficiency investments that are in our current pipeline, through TurSEFF funds.”

Close to 1,000 projects have been financed under the TurSEFF programme to date. These projects are expected to reduce yearly emissions by more than two million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, which is comparable to taking more than 840,000 cars off the roads. The total energy savings achieved equal the electricity consumed by 3.4 million people in Turkey.

The total installed power capacity represented by these projects is 500 MW. Solar photovoltaic ventures lead the ranking with nearly 300 MW.

The EBRD is a major investor in Turkey. Since 2009, the Bank has invested over €9.5 billion in various sectors of the country’s economy, with almost all investment being made in the private sector. Promoting the use of sustainable energy and more environmentally friendly sources of energy is a priority for the Bank in Turkey. Almost half of its projects in the country contribute to financing sustainable energy.

In 2017, the EBRD has signed more than 30 projects in Turkey worth over €1.2 billion and expects to exceed €1.5 billion in investment by the end of the year.